Singleton EJB tutorial

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One of the most interesting news of Java EE 6 is the Singleton annotation which can be used to mark your EJB as Singleton services.
As the name implies a javax.ejb.Singleton is a session bean with a guarantee that there is at most one instance in the application. Until now if you wanted to expose a Service as Singleton you had to use either Service POJOS (See an article here JBoss MBeans POJOs ) or tweak the EJB pool maximum size.

All of these approach worked, however they were not portable because they used JBoss annotations/configuration to do the trick.

Now with the latest release of JBoss 6 M3 you can use a Java EE 6 full compliant solution. Making an EJB as Singleton is pretty easy: just add the java.ejb.Singleton annotation and that's all.

Here's an example:
package sample;

import javax.annotation.PostConstruct;
import javax.ejb.Remote;
import javax.ejb.Singleton;
import javax.ejb.Startup;

import org.jboss.ejb3.annotation.RemoteBinding;


@RemoteBinding(jndiBinding = "SingletonBean")

public class SingletonBean implements SingletonItf {
    int total;

    private void startup() {
        System.out.println("Singleton inited!");

    public void add(int i) {
        total += i;


    public int getTotal() {
        return total;

In this example, the EJB exposes a trivial add(int i) method which increments a counter. Since there will be just one instance of SingletonBean, the total variable can be used across client calls.

Notice also the @Startup annotation which is not mandatory but can be used to signal to the container to invoke the @PostConstruct method just after the Bean has been created. So, if you need a proper Bean initialization, just add a @Startup annotation at Class level and a @PostConstruct at method level.

Testing the EJB is pretty simple, here's a remote client example:
import java.util.Properties;

import javax.naming.InitialContext;
import sample.SingletonItf;

public class TestEJB  {
    public static void main(String args[])throws Exception {
        Properties properties = new Properties();    
        properties.put("java.naming.factory.initial","org.jnp.interfaces.NamingContextFactory");      properties.put("java.naming.factory.url.pkgs",        "org.jboss.naming:org.jnp.interfaces");    
        properties.put("java.naming.provider.url", "jnp://localhost:1099");    
        InitialContext ctx = new InitialContext(properties);
        SingletonItf ejb = (SingletonItf) ctx.lookup("SingletonBean");
        System.out.println("Total is "+ejb.getTotal());


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